5 Things You Will Never Regret

Riding horses by the beach

More often than I’d like to admit, I catch myself thinking of the things I regret (or might regret), when making decisions.

We live our lives trying to avoid making mistakes, especially the costly ones. The underlying fear of making mistakes leads to avoidance or reactive decisions, which means we end up making more mistakes—and feeding the same fear.

This fearful and myopic outlook blurs our vision and stops us from seeing, with clarity, the things that we will truly regret. Most of the things we think we might regret end up being unimportant in the larger scheme of things.

Today let’s consider a different view. Instead of focusing on regret, why not start with the things that we will not regret?

Here is my top five. As you read, I invite you to examine each point and feel it in your heart. Is it something you will not regret?

The items on this list are universal. The details and meaning of each one, however, are quite personal. So here it goes in no particular order.

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” ~Lily Tomlin

The quote above sums up what forgiveness is all about—letting go of a painful memory and wishing things were different.

Forgiveness is freedom exemplified. We release ourselves from the chains of the past and choose to live a different life from this moment on. We’re no longer bound and identified by the hurt or the person.

Forgiveness means letting go of the need for vengeance and trusting that life takes care of things at its own pace and on its own terms.

Can we forgive the wrong person? If I think that I forgave the wrong person, it means I didn’t forgive. I’m still holding on to something.

Forgiveness is the unconditional release of the grudge we held of a painful event from the past. It’s not a judgment on the event itself and the person who wronged us. It has nothing to do with who the other person is or why they did what they did—how they deal with it is up to them.

The ability to forgive others will help us forgive ourselves and let go of any guilt or shame.

And when we let go of our attachment to the pain and resentment, we open up to all of life.

Taking care of yourself first

We’re often taught to be selfless and take care of others. It’s clearer now than ever that if we try to help others before helping ourselves, we will do them a disservice.

If we don’t take care of ourselves, and meet our own needs, we will be looking to others to fill the gap. Instead of helping them, we end up expecting them to help us.

When we focus on ourselves first, we will be able to support others in more effective ways. The question then is how do you focus on yourself?

It’s not easy to focus on ourselves when everything around us tells us to do the opposite.

A good place to start is adopting a healthy lifestyle—eating the healthiest food you can afford and staying active.

Pursing work you’re passionate about, learning new things, fostering relationships that support you, and spending time on things that nourish your mind, heart and soul will be helpful not only to you, but to the rest of humanity.

No one should regret taking care of themselves. It’s the best way to help others and the world.

Living your truth

I believe we all evolved, or were put on this earth to have the best time we can, to express our unique selves and to share with the world our talents, experiences and love.

Living from a place of truth is hard. It stands in the face of conditioning and expectations. But if it is our main purpose in this existence, then we need to make it a priority.

To live authentically is to honor who you are—to express your highest joy, let your values and interests guide you … to march to the beat of your own drum … to define and live by your own standards of success … to let who you are shine through everything you do.

I can’t imagine having regrets about that.

Loving with all your heart

I often mistype live when I want to type love and vice versa (since the I and O are neighbors on the keyboard). Come to think of it, maybe it’s no coincidence.

Love opens us up to all that’s good in life. It colors our perception with joy and trust. To love a partner, a parent, a friend, a child, a pet, or a job/hobby, is to see and appreciate the unique beauty expressed in each creation.

Love truly makes us come alive.

As they say, it’s better to have loved and been hurt than not to have loved at all. We are born to experience and feel. And love is the ultimate feeling.

Every loving experience changes us. We feel, we learn, we grow, we celebrate or forgive, and we move on.

Living every moment as if it were your first … and last

Living in the moment is life mastery. It frees us from the pain of the past and the fear (and anticipation) of the future. We then get to experience and appreciate this moment in its purest form. We develop a taste for the intrigue, elegance, and messiness of life.

The best way to live this moment is to observe without labels, projections, or past knowledge … to do the thing we need to do without the constraints of time or pressures of expectations. Just observe, attend, feel, do and express, then move on.

When we live for (and through) this moment only, we drop other notions of how we should live. We stop waiting for something to happen or for someone to see us. We free ourselves from the fear of being left behind or forgotten.

The mystery of this amazing journey continues to unfold throughout this existence (and maybe even after)—one fleeting moment at a time.

They say life is too short. From a cosmic perspective, our time here is nothing but a flash. But on this earth, time is not the definitive metric of a life fulfilled.

Each moment fully lived feels like time has been suspended. It contains within its fabric all we need to experience, for that tiny flicker of being.

We will make mistakes, we may regret some of them, and we may learn to live with that regret. We have a choice right now, in this moment, however, to change our perspective (and choices) and go with the flow of life—focusing on the things we won’t regret.

[Photo credit] (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/2985066755/)

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